Students in the Yavapai College Fall Horticulture class have been working all semester to grow out edible and ornamental crops in the Chino Valley Center greenhouse. Beginning December 7th they will start bringing the best of their offerings to the winter market. In particular, look for these items in the coming weeks:
Poinsettias – For this holiday season, Yavapai College offers three color cultivars… 6” pots with traditional red; 6” pots with white; and 12” hanging baskets with bi-color poinsettias (dark pink blaze in the bracts and edged in very dark cream). In the grow-out process, students transplanted a 2” tall plug in late August and managed the nutrition and light/darkness requirements to initiate the bract coloration. Check out these juxtapose photos (use the slider bar) to see how this coloration has progressed over the month of November.
Christmas cactus houseplants (Schlumbergera) – These beautiful and popular houseplants are in full bloom with showy red flowers. What’s the best part of a Christmas “cactus”? There are no thorns!
While these red and green traditional holiday plants are an obvious grow for this time of year, did you expect fresh red ripe tomatoes and juicy green cucumbers to be at PFM this December?
Tomatoes – The Yavapai College heated greenhouses present the unique opportunity to grow tomatoes as a specialty crop. Students start plants from seed in July, grow and maintain them during the fall months, and finally the harvest of vine-ripened tomatoes in December and continuing through the remainder of the winter market season. This year Yavapai College offers two tried-and-true beefsteak varieties (Geronimo and Big Dena) together with three new varieties (Marbonne, Rebelski, Kakao) which are expected to be equally tasty. If you are unfamiliar with how greenhouse tomatoes are grown, check out these juxtapose photos (again, use the slider bar) showing the grow bag planting media and tomato plant growth (with perfect growing conditions and nutrition) after just two months.
European Cucumbers – These specialty cucumbers are being grown in ideal greenhouse conditions at Yavapai College. They are seedless with thin dark green, edible skins. These long, slim cucumbers are wrapped in plastic to limit their dehydration and extend the life after picking.
Are you interested in learning more about greenhouse growing and horticulture? Registration is now open for the Spring 2020 semester at www.yc.edu/register. Alternatively, see the Yavapai College on-going horticulture activities on Facebook.